Businesses face fines if asbestos is found dumped

2015-07-01 09:30
Illegal dump in Phayiphini.

Illegal dump in Phayiphini. (File)

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WITH a hazardous illegal dump ­forming metres away from houses in Phayiphini, businesses have been warned to check the credentials of asbestos removal companies.

As asbestos fibres are released ­continuously into the air of a residential area, businesses not only run the risk of putting people’s health at risk, but the possibility of being slapped with a R200 000 fine.

A registered asbestos remover, who would not be named, said businesses who required the services of an asbestos removal company should always check that they are qualified to remove asbestos and not just “handle it”.

“There is a huge difference between being registered to handle asbestos and being registered to actually remove asbestos.

“Some companies who are registered to ‘handle’ asbestos will offer to dispose of it, and because they are not registered and do not want to pay to dump the asbestos in a landfill site for hazardous waste, they will dump it anywhere.”

He said the disposal charges were usually between R500 and R800 per ton, and with transport costs to be factored in, the legal disposal process could become quite pricey, although it was necessary.

“Businesses who hire companies to dump asbestos will be fined if the hired company is found dumping the waste.

“Businesses need to check companies’ security files before awarding removal companies their business,” he said, adding that the Phayiphini dump was an environmental hazard and a major health concern that should be cleared as soon as possible.

Msunduzi spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said yesterday that trucks had been sent to remove the rubble.

“Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust has come in and volunteered to remove the asbestos rubble. Furthermore we have endeavoured to clean up the area and request our security department to monitor the area and prosecute offenders if caught. The same also applies to all illegal dumping sites and areas which require law enforcement. We continue servicing our communities within the limited resources available,” she said

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  illegal dump

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